Embracing the Cs and More


Fran Simone writes this on her blog:

Approximately 22 million Americans struggle daily with addition to drugs and alcohol. Another 100 million family members and friends share their pain. James Graham writes that there are two great human resources on alcoholism: recovering alcoholics who have had front line experience and combat veterans who have been exposed to the active drinking of a loved one for long periods of time.  I am combat veteran whose husband lost his battle with alcoholism.

On Christmas Day, 1996, my husband, Terry, committed suicide. He was only forty-seven years old. Although he admitted he was an alcoholic, he hated the label with its image of street drunks clutching pints of rotgut liquor beside dumpsters in dark alleys. My husband was more than a lush, a drunk, a barfly. He was a gifted lawyer, loving son, proud step-dad, loyal friend, supportive husband, and rabid Dallas Cowboy fan who eventually succumbed to this cunning disease. He was never mean, nasty, or violent. When drunk, he simply wasn’t there. He was immobile, like a corpse. Once I asked, “Why do you drink when it causes such heartache?” “Oblivion,” he responded. “I like the oblivion.”

Terry inhabited a parallel universe: his hidden self and his public self. Like light which consists of wave and particle, my husband was both things at once—a baffling paradox. Shortly after he died, I composed a poem to “my husband of a thousand joys and sorrows.” For every sad episode associated with alcohol, there was an equally joyful time when Terry was sober. We careened between the highs and lows of our roller coaster  marriage. Looking back, I recognize my part in this risky journey. I thrived on the melodrama. That may have been why I didn’t embrace my own recovery.

Years passed. Terry progressed from the middle to the late stage of the disease. At one point, he attended a one month residential treatment program. At a weekend event for family and friends I was first introduced to the twelve-step philosophy. It made sense but I didn’t follow through when I returned home. I believed that I could fix my husband. Shortly after treatment Terry relapsed. For the remaining years we resumed our life of managing the disease until his tragic death.

Go to the source for more: Embracing the Cs and More | Psychology Today

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